Kansas City, MO – Detroit already has the AL Central locked up, but Miguel Cabrera improved his chances of winning the Triple Crown on Tuesday.
Cabrera went 2-for-3 with two RBI, but it was not enough as the Kansas City Royals took a 4-2 win over the Tigers in the next to last game of the season on Tuesday.
Cabrera moved his batting average to .331 on the season and drove in his 138th and 139th runs of the season. Along with his 44 home runs, he leads the American League in all three categories, although his lead in homers is just one ahead of Texas' Josh Hamilton.
"He (Tigers manager Jim Leyland) writes the lineup. I do what he wants," Cabrera said about possibly sitting out the team's season finale on Wednesday. "He's the boss, so whatever he wants to do is what I'm going to do."
Should Cabrera find himself at the top of all three at the end of the season on Wednesday, he would be the first Triple Crown winner in either league since Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox in 1967.
Alcides Escobar went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two RBI while Jeff Francoeur added a solo homer for the Royals, who had lost eight of nine coming into the game. Jeremy Guthrie (5-3) gave up two runs on five hits in six innings to win his fifth straight decision.
"He got in some trouble in the third inning, but he did a nice job of getting out of it," Royals manager Ned Yost said about Guthrie. "That was a huge reason why we won today. He was sharp out there, nice way for him to end the season."
Doug Fister (10-10) was touched for three runs on seven hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings for the Tigers, who had a three-game winning streak stopped.
The Royals got on the board in the first as Escobar homered with one out, his fifth of the season.
Detroit went on top in the third when Cabrera singled home two runners. The team went on to load the bases, but Delmon Young lined into a double play with Prince Fielder caught off first.
An RBI single by Escobar in the fifth tied the game, and Salvador Perez later beat out a potential inning-ending double play with runners on first and third as the Royals took a 3-2 lead.
Francoeur led off the eighth by crushing the first pitch he saw deep over the left-center wall for a 4-2 advantage.
Greg Holland worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 16th save of the season.
Detroit has won 12 of the 17 games with Kansas City this season ... Fister fell to 2-3 in eight games against the Tigers ... Guthrie moved to 2-1 in four games against the Tigers this season.